Sweeping

It’s been raining in Barbados all day. Stopping for ten minutes or so at a time, then pelting down again. It’s been a good day to wash the boat. Polish the wood inside. Do school. Watch movies. Argue a little.

Yep – the rain on Questie can bring out the quarrels. Some of them are gripes, swept under the carpet only to be brought to the surface by… well, rain.

Meanwhile, Barbados is happy. It’s another secret swept under the carpet. Islanders love it when it rains – because it doesn’t rain enough.

The Lesser Antilles are constantly battling dry conditions. Every sweet drop of fresh water is appreciated. For growing foods, filling tanks and reservoirs. The small islands benefit the most – since they receive the least amount of rain, without the help of large, land mass-creating water cycles.

So, imagine going on a long-awaited tropical holiday and waking up to the mist and rain. Chins are tucked into hands at breakfast – while the hotel staff are smiling. They’re imagining their wet vegetable gardens. Their glowing fruit trees.

What happens if we wake up tomorrow and it’s still raining? Another quarrel? Whatever happens, our rain jackets will be dug out. Getting off the boat will be key. The tourists might sigh and stay inside. Or maybe not. Maybe they’ll walk the beach. Dip their toes in.

The rain brought something else to the surface today. I’ve come to realise that life isn’t about praise or even feeling good about something being well done. It’s about the work. Not the bit afterwards. The celebration (or not) is transient. After it’s gone, the work is the thing that’s still there.

I didn’t dream to be the homeschooling mum. Shock horror, I know 😉. I was so ill-prepared when we started. No curriculum, no idea of how school worked. Not in the rhythmic sense anyhow. I didn’t appreciate the peaks and troughs in learning.

One sentence at a time. Us girls enjoyed being anchored together while it rained today. We’ve come a long way since the beginning – since we’ve had so damn far to come. My bad.

We’ve learned too that travel is a gift – and of course it comes at a price. Leaving creature comforts behind. Family and friends. On the other side you learn to adapt quickly. You discover yourself alongside new places and new people. It’s a bit like the rain – both good and bad. Tourists sigh, islanders cheer.

In our case, we choose to travel while living our lives – a new place with the schoolwork, money work and the odd long-swept item under the carpet. To get to the end of the day and still feel ok about it?

Let it rain.

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